Problems in all areas

Hello and thanks for this opportunity to share my experience here. 

My memory problems :

– No sense of direction, getting lost in shopping centers/malls in very small woods. Do not recignize places so that I know I have to turn right at this point.
– unable to willingly imagine images from the past
– unable to visualize an apple and turn it around/rotate in my mind. – Cannot draw from memory or imagination.
– bad face memory as a child
– getting easily confused with similar looking faces
– Cannot remember autobiographic scenes lyrics and choreographies
-Cannot remember what people were wearing yesterday
-Cannot remember handicraft steps (e.g. folding paper in a particula way) from just watching or dance moves from watching
-Cant play chess, memory and any similar games.

Does anybody of you have they same difficulties? 

My life has been very stressful because of all these difficulties with my bad memory

 So I really hope that one day I can be “cured” from it.







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The only things I don’t completely relate to with this are facial recognition, and memory games.

I can relate to most of what you described. According to the assessment, I am not aphantastic, but somewhere on the low side of middle. Problems with memory have plagued me all my life, especially facial recognition and recall of details of my past or places I’ve been. I do, however, have very good spatial abilities and rarely lose my way, even in places I’ve only been once or twice in my life. I can force visualization of, say, picking an apple from a tree, but I have to force the imagery and it’s hard to hold onto for more than a second or two. Clear and vivid for a moment, then fuzzy and gone. I too struggle with memory games and strategy, and have to follow written instructions or play/pause videos to get the steps in order – while taking notes.

This is my first visit to this site. In general, I have all the problems that you seem to have. One way that I do differ is that, in general, I can find my way around when I am driving, and usually, once I have gone somewhere, I can find my way back the next time I go. Directions do fade over time (counted in years), but my sense of direction seems to be good.

As for visualisation, I have no ability to visualise anything. My wife died 14 years ago this June. I cannot visualise her, and occasionally I feel a slight unfamiliarity even when I see pictures of her. As to visualising apple and rotating it, I can’t visualise an apple.

Remembering faces is difficult, and so I often forget names. I met one of my brothers in a store, spoke with him for twenty minutes or so, and still didn’t know where I had met this strange man. I knew I must know simple because he obviously knew me, and knew several things about me. But I didn’t know who I had been speaking with until sometime later. But this doesn’t apply only to similar looking faces. I simply cannot remember faces.

As to chess. I used to like to play, but I couldn’t never plan more than two moves ahead, which makes winning, even against a beginner, difficult.

It is said that aphantasia is not a disability. This sounds like nonsense to me, since I have always found that the inability to visualise has always made life difficult, although I think it has become more severe as I have grown older.


Hi – you could be describing me! Like many people, I only discovered aphantasia fairly recently and it explains many things. I was among those who always assumed that “mind’s eye” and “mental image” were just expressions. I am 56 and it never occurred to me that other people can actually “see” an image in their mind or conjure up a smell or a sound.

I have a terrible sense of direction, I have no ability to describe anyone (even my wife of 33 years or my daughters), I am terrible at recognising faces – I get very  confused watching TV dramas ;o), I cannot remember dance moves, etc. I now believe that much of this is tied in with aphantasia (though maybe the dancing is just a lack of natural ability!). I have zero ability to picture any image, smell, or sound. 

As I wasn’t aware that other people had more mental imagery I wasn’t aware that I was lacking and didn’t see this as a major problem. I just thought I was bad at faces and directions …. And maybe that’s all it is – but it’s very interesting to read how many people with aphantasia appear to have the same issues. 

Now I can see how this has hampered me but, to be honest,I feel I’ve coped well. I actually find it comforting to have a label to hang on this; it does help to explain so many things for me and I can now have a reason for why I am poor at certain things. Hopefully my wife will now understand why I get confused with directions or descriptions of people – I think she felt I was just being obtuse when she wanted me to do something ;0) 

I have all of those. I also struggled with copying anything from the board at school, as I had to copy everything 1 or 2 letters at a time whilst repeating them to myself as I couldn’t visualise them or hold them in my memory. Makes spelling hard too, I can’t always tell if a word looks right, because I can’t visualise the right spelling. It took me so long I was kept back at break as punishment and made to keep writing. I had a lot of spatial issues too, I can’t visualise what things are supposed to look like or how I’m supposed to do movements correctly, so writing was difficult, very slow and caused me quite a lot of pain. I have a permanent deformity on one of my fingers from writing in school that I’ve had since I was a child.

my mind is also empty, and processing, thinking or doing anything is very slow as I have to do it manually without any imagery to use as a guide. Makes learning hard, I can’t memorise things for exams anymore. I had IQ testing done as part of trying to get my auditory processing disorder diagnosed, and I think my memory issues supposed the doctors, though I haven’t got the results yet I’m pretty sure I did terribly as so many of the questions I couldn’t answer and just said ‘I don’t know’ because I couldn’t remember. They had to stop multiple tests early because I just couldn’t answer the questions.

Everything you describe is true for me.  I have also noticed that any visual testing (cognitive tests) I am unable to complete without spending an inordinate amount of time looking back and forth which has disqualified me for a few roles that I was interested in.

I don’t dream, I can’t see people in my mind and when I close my eyes it is totally dark. I can’t follow visual directions, get lost a lot, can’t remember sequences, and have difficulty recognizing people who I have only met briefly. 

I could never memorize at school, don’t play games well, and can’t remember places I have been. 

I never dreamed others had this issue. This has been eye-opening (no pun intended) for me.  I see it as a disability and am discouraged it isn’t recognized as such.